It is a known fact that the excessive consumption of soda is associated with many health issues in children and adults. In addition to being linked to diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions, soda and other beverages that are sweetened with sugar can also affect children’s cholesterol levels.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition involved about 700 children ages 8 to 15 and the effect that drinking soda had on their cholesterol. After initial blood tests and a year of drinking soda, the children were found to have higher levels of triglycerides, while those who limited their intake of sugary beverages actualy increased their good cholesterol.
The results of this study led by Maria Van Rompay show that soda and other sugar beverages have an effect on children’s bodies that can carry on through their adult life. According to Van Rompay, “Dietary intake is one of the modifiable factors that can be targeted in helping to prevent disease. Even a small change in one serving per week can be enough to have an effect on HDL. So educating children about sugar-sweetened beverages and changing the amount they drink is something that feels manageable and can be done to improve the health status of our children.”
Dr. Riba’s advice about drinking water
Some people have preferences about water temperature, so find out how your child likes to drink it most often. A child might really like having a specific water bottle meant just for his or her own water. There is a wide variety of water bottles available on the market now. Check to make sure the water bottle your child picks out is BPA free. In fact, you can purchase fruit infuser water bottles and pitchers designed to infuse the natural flavor of the fruit without any added sugar. This design also gives the child almost limitless options to create their own flavors.
Even without a water bottle, chunks of frozen fruit add a hint of flavor. Buy unique ice cube trays to create fun shapes or characters to go in glasses of water. Enhance a glass of water with a twist (or several twists!) of fresh citrus. And fresh herbs and cucumber slices make water extra refreshing!